On Wednesday before practice, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media before practice to give a snapshot of his expectations for the team's week one game against the Chicago Bears. Here is a partial transcript of McCarthy's comments from the media room.
With several players nursing injuries, including wide receiver Randall Cobb, the first question to McCarthy revolved around Cobb's status in practice:
My expectations for Randall and for all of our guys are to practice and prepare and get ready for Chicago. I'm hopeful everybody practices today.
How do you assess John Fox as a coach:
Characteristics of a John Fox coached team? There's a clear cut philosophy that runs through all three programs he's put together ... the belief in running the football and stopping the run. They've done an excellent job of taking care of the football and taking the football away.
On the state of the Packers currently:
Am I happy where we are? Yeah, I feel good where we are. This is the first step. Every year is different...clearly, I think these are the most difficult games to win, early in the season because of the unknowns. Average of 30% of un-scouted looks occur in the first game ... we've got young players who are gonna be playing in this rivalry for the first time.
Why have the Packers had so much success against Cutler?
Sure, I'll draw it out for you right here (laughs). No, Jay Cutler's a talented quarterback, he can make all the throws. We've played well against him in the past, but that's irrelevant. He's in a new system...there's some things that are precisely different. I think his mechanics, some of the things he's shown in the preseason are very different...we're getting ready for him in his new offense.
How do you defend tight end Martellus Bennett?
Bennett is definitely talented, his ability to play on the line and off the line...yes, we have to match up against those guys on the perimeter, it's a big part of our focus.
Who made the biggest impact on the team last year?
I think Julius Peppers was probably the biggest impact on our football team last year. We all were confident in the type of player that was coming to Green Bay ... just the personality and the uniqueness of the man and the way he interacts with his teammates is special. His role as a leader continued to grow throughout the season. I thought he made a big impact last year ... the ability to impact people, whether it's personally, professionally...he has the ability to impact people.
How is James Jones coming along with re-learning the Packers' offense?
James Jones has the foundation, he knows the history of the offense. He was win Ben McAdoo in New York, so there should be some carryover there. Just going over the things that have changed since he's left...James was here yesterday...I have all the confidence he'll be ready to go.
Stay tuned for an injury report to come following practice.